How to Successfully Integrate Ecommerce into an Entertainment Business

How to Successfully Integrate Ecommerce into an Entertainment Business

February 4th, 2022

Ecommerce has become an inextricable part of the experience of consuming entertainment.

Sunrise Integration
  by Sunrise Integration

Ecommerce has become an inextricable part of the experience of consuming entertainment. 

Do you remember what it was like to sit and watch TV before streaming? Oh, how times have changed. Watching TV has completely transformed over the past 10 to 15 years. With a low cost subscription, many of us have replaced the phrase “watching TV” with “watching Netflix” or “watching Amazon Prime”. 

But television shows aren’t the only form of entertainment that has evolved. Movies (rent online), sports (fan experience and live games), news and internet media (subscriptions), concerts (online tickets and online merchandise), and gaming (in-game purchase, digital downloads) all look different than they did just a few short years ago. 

Ecommerce has exploded since the first instance of online shopping and will only continue growing. Global retail ecommerce sales are expected to grow to $5 trillion by 2022. That’s 5000 billions! What does that mean for entertainment companies and brands? It would be foolish not to implement ecommerce into your business model, or at the very least, be aware of ecommerce trends and news.

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An Abundance of Opportunities


Perhaps one of the most common example of ways that entertainment companies have embraced ecommerce has been focusing on online tickets sales. We’ve mostly traded waiting in line at the box office for purchasing tickets on our cell phone or computer. For anyone with a simple understanding of handheld devices, going through this process of buying tickets is easier, faster, provides more flexibility (e.g. reserving seats and timeslots) and saves paper.


Netflix is another great example that will probably be referenced for decades to come. Not only have they completely transformed the way people consume television shows, documentaries, and movies–we can credit the streaming giant for killing Blockbuster and making binge watching television a common pastime–they’re now offering merchandise inspired by their most popular shows through their online store.


Making purchases is also a critical aspect of the gaming experience. It’s no longer just about defeating bosses, completing missions and accumulating points. Game developers have found a way to keep players even more engaged and make them open their wallets to advance in the game.


In 2005, YouTube started off as a simple video sharing platform, but it didn’t stay that way. It’s now one of the most popular social media networks in the world, its growth largely attributed to innovation and trendsetting. And it may just turn into a major shopping destination.


You get the idea. We could list off examples all day, but it’s clear that people love to shop. Buying things helps them fulfill a variety of wants and needs. Incorporating ecommerce elements into your business model, or becoming a full-fledged ecommerce company, is simply about meeting ever-evolving customer demands.

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Remember This Before Diving into Ecommerce


For the entertainment professionals out there, here is a quick guide with tips to ensure your ecommerce journey goes smoothly.


  • Ecommerce operates with different rules from the entertainment business 


Events, TV shows, album releases are big events with short-lived marketing campaigns. However, most ecommerce cart platforms, fulfillment systems, and operations workflows are designed to operate for a long period of time and run to a certain level of reliability so that orders get charged and shipped appropriately. They can and should live on after your event has taken place or your TV show has been released.


Ecommerce is much more rigid in what you can design and build quickly because products and orders have strict data requirements for inventory management and fulfillment.


  • Set reasonable expectations for creative talent’s online stores


If you’re building websites for artists or other creative influencers, try to set expectations. Artists may be expecting a blank creative canvas, but a web store is not a blank canvas, it’s a paint-by-numbers. 


Ecommerce has rules for UX/UI that you must follow in platforms like Shopify and Magento. No matter what way you shake it, your product catalog, cart and checkout experience must use the common patterns that everyone else uses. You need to ensure that the talent you work with understands this concept. 


  • Ecommerce can be complicated, and the amount of work required is frequently underestimated.


If possible, bring in an expert to help guide and manage your ecommerce business. If you work for a large organization that has an existing ecommerce department, try to share knowledge and resources with another team’s ecommerce department rather than go in blind.


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How We Help Grow Ecommerce Businesses in Entertainment


As a company with its headquarters in Los Angeles, our team knows Hollywood. Here are some of the solutions we’ve provided for the entertainment industry in the past:


  • Video streaming integration and VOD

  • Mobile app development for events and premieres

  • Platform media apps (Apple TV, Android TV, Roku)

  • Ecommerce POS for media pop-up events

  • Mobile app development

  • Gaming industry apps and platform services

  • Digital audio and video asset management for digital purchases

  • Ecommerce integration for ticketing and on demand services

  • High demand availability consultation services

  • Content delivery (CDN), S3 DevOps

  • Software development and design

  • API integration and creation

  • Merchandise and DTG integration services


If you want to successfully integrate ecommerce into your business to retain customers, reach new markets and stay ahead of the competition, contact us today.


Tags:   ecommerce   entertainment